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'Professor Popsicle' shares tips on how to survive hypothermia

By Peter Rosen | Posted - Feb. 21, 2012 at 10:07 p.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY — His name is Gordon Giesbrecht, but many people know him as "Professor Popsicle."

That's because Giesbrecht is the world's leading expert on hypothermia — and because he knows about hypothermia first-hand.

The University of Manitoba professor of thermophysiology has been hypothermic, as part of controlled laboratory experiments, about 40 times.

Giesbrecht has also studied what happens when cars go into water. He's dropped more than 80 cars — with people inside — into bodies of water to figure out the best escape strategy.

His advice is simple: Don't touch your cell phone.

Those who first try to phone for help waste valuable time, he says. A car takes about 60 seconds to sink below the surface of the water.

If you're ever trapped in a sinking car, Giesbrcht says you should instead remove your seat belt, open or break a window, and get any children and get out.

Giesbrecht was recently in Utah for a conference sponsored by the Wilderness Medicine Society. To learn more about what to do if you fall into cold water, you can watch videos above or request a free DVD at http://www.coldwaterbootcamp.com/pages/home.html.

Email: prosen@ksl.com

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Peter Rosen

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